An Empty Coast

An Empty Coast
My latest novel

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Nice kitty...

We return to our regular programming, Legion of Fans. No more politics as I'm back to getting my news from the BBC World Service now, instead of SABC 3 (local TV channel and mouthpiece of the ruling ANC party - sorry, had to slip that one in).

The BBC may be fiercely independent, but it is also stiflingly boring. Last night's news was all about the Pakistani elections (boring); English football (boring); and the Rugby World Cup (very boring, espeically if you're an Australian).

Far more interesting, LOF, was my shower last night, in Punda Maria rest camp, in the north of the magnificent Kruger National Park. I was just drying off when Mrs B arrived, hovering at the door of the gents. "Are you dressed? Get dressed? Come now!"

This is what happened last time we stayed in Punda Maria... my latherings were interrupted by the arrival of Panthera leo - lion - at the waterhole just outside the camp fence.

Don't panic, LOF - the fences in Kruger are electrified, though the one at Punda Maria is only about waist high. That didn't stop about 20 campers from assembling on the fencline and watching four lionesses stalking through the bushes, no more than 30 or 40 metres away.

(Astute readers will note that the lion above is pictured against a backdrop of dry Kalahari Sandveld vegetation. That pic was actually taken in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, about 15km from the Shumba Picnic Site).

Anyway, Mrs B had been preparing dinner when the first feline rose from the bush - about 20 metres from her. She sensibly put the steak in the car fridge (you know those kitty cats - turn your back for a second and they'll steal your food) and came and fetched me.

We heard them talking to each other - low, almost mournful groans - during our dinner. This morning the male was just outside the fence, waking us at dawn as he called to his wives; "wheeeeres my breakfast... wheeeeeres my breakfast?"

On top of the Land Rover, under the covers.

2 comments :

ali g said...

similar thing here...but too late to put the steaks back in the fridge. Sat down for a tea of grilled lamb steaks tonight when Lo & behold looked down and found we'd were surrounded by three of the Varykino lions, Claude, Wookie & Cushla [ yes we've got another one ..total now 5 lions the other 2 Tigger & Chrissy had gone to bed]... so to avoid confrontation Mrs G gave them her steaks to avoid any unpleasantness plus any prospective ripping open of our legs. You're not the only ones out there in the jungle you know.

ali g said...

we have electrified fences too ...it's those damn wombats..